Vision Research Phantom v642 Meets Need for Speed

Vision Research was on hand at NAB 2013 with its new Phantom v642 camera, a high-speed camera that can be matched to standard broadcast cameras, making it suitable for live production rather than simply as a specialty camera used for replay applications.

“It is much more broadcast-friendly in terms of imaging, as there have been a lot of improvements to the sensor and calibration [functions]” says Business Manager Patrick J. Ott de Vries. “In the future, there is a possibility of it becoming more mainstream.”

Also on display was Flex 4K, a camera can record up to 900 frames per second at a resolution of 4096×2304 or 1,000 fps at 4096×2160 resolution. It also has up to 64 GB of internal memory and two 3G-SDI outputs that can be configured as independent 4:4:4 1080p signals or used together for 4K.

“The appetite for high-speed cameras is growing,” Ott de Vries points out. “Instead of showing a replay of an eight-second play, the directors are showing just the ball making contact by recording at a higher frame rate and knowing how to handle that material in their production workflow.”

The Vision Research mantra is to always push for more sensitivity so that the company’s cameras can record at very fast frame rates in environments that may not have optimal lighting conditions. And everyday Ott de Vries sees something different.

“We designed a new camera that can shoot 16,000 frames per second at 720p resolution,” he says. “And, when you look at images of combustion and diesel images [recorded at 16,000 fps], you can see the things you could never see before, like the flow of fuel in the chamber.”

And then there is 4K.

“It definitely has its applications but also its challenges,” says Ott de Vries of the format. “While it is specialty now, it has the possibility of becoming mainstream.”

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